Complete The Map

In the Complete The Map ESL activity, students have to complete the map of a town using written clues.

Students for Complete The Map ESL Activity:4+Time for Complete The Map ESL Activity:45-90 mins
Resources for Complete The Map ESL Activity:
A4 Paper

You could prepare a map of a city and clues yourself; however a good way to reduce preparation time is to get the students to do it themselves.

Divide the class into pairs. Each pair will need at least two pieces of A4 paper (use recycled if possible).

  1. In pairs, the students create a map of an invented town (using vocabulary for places in the city). One student draws a version with the place names (e.g. bakery, swimming pool) written on the map. The other student copies that version but includes just one of the place names.
  2. On a separate piece of paper, they then write at least ten sentences describing the position of all their buildings, using prepositions of place. For example, The bakery is between the swimming pool and the school.
  3. If you want to practise directions as well, half the sentences should use directions instead (without an exact end position). For example, From the park, go straight on, turn left at the restaurant and the bakery is on your right.
  4. When they have finished, the students give their incomplete map and sentences to another pair.
  5. That pair has to try and complete the map (in pencil) based on the clues in the sentences.
  6. They can then check their map against the original complete map, and any mistakes (in the map or sentences) can be corrected.

Tip: Encourage the students to complete the maps lightly in pencil, so that they can be reused by other pairs.

Target Language

Use the Complete The Map ESL activity to practise prepositions of place (between, opposite etc.) and/or directions. It is also a good review of vocabulary for places in the city. Note that creating a map is usually more fun for kids; depending on the nature of your adult class you may want to prepare a map and sentences yourself and display them on the board.

For a very similar activity in which students design their own town then practise directions with it, see Town Map.

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